PrestaShop provides powerful, dynamic and international eCommerce software complete with hundreds of innovative tools to build and manage a successful online store free of charge. Over 230,000 online store owners use PrestaShop to manage their business, regardless of size, industry or revenue. PrestaShop is a marvelous tool that can help your business by spreading its name throughout the world via the Internet.
Setting up an online store may seem like a frightening task at first, however it is easier than you may first come to believe. This article will guide you through the step-by-step process to set up a PrestaShop. By the time you’re finished, everything will be set for you to start managing your site and making sales.
1) Domain Name
You need to establish a domain name for your online store. A domain is the URL that separates your site from everyone else’s, such as example.net or mystore.com. To get a domain, you need to purchase one. Start to think of multiple domain names you’d like to use. If you only have one in mind, it might already be taken, seeing how the Internet is such a big place. A lot of web hosts offer a free domain with every new account. The terms of the free domain vary with the web hosts, but if you chose this option, it makes it easy to get the domain name and hosting service in one go. A domain name is never owned by you, you rent it for, usually, a yearly fee. If you ever stop paying for the domain name, someone else can snatch it up. The fee for your chosen domain name is normally around ten U.S. dollars, depending on what website you go to.
2) Hosting Service
With a domain name in your possession, you need the server space for the PrestaShop files to reside in. Your online store will be hosted by an Internet hosting service which provides you with online space for a yearly or monthly fee, unless you have a web server of your own.
You will need to select a hosting provider. Nearly every webhost can effectively handle PrestaShop, however, you need to remember some crucial requirements. The web host you chose must provide you with support for PHP 5.2 (or more recent) and MySQL 5 (or more recent). These are the programming language and database system that PrestaShop uses.
3) Text Editor
When I say text editor, I mean text editor, not word processor. Do NOT use Microsoft Word when editing text files. Some well-known text editors are Notepad++, UltraEdit, Textmate, Coda, and Vim, to name a few.
4) FTP client
An FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client is also required for the purpose of transferring files from your computer to your server and vice-versa. For the purposes of this article, I will use FileZilla as my free FTP client for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. You can download it from http://filezilla-project.org/. Make sure you download FileZilla Client, not FileZilla Server!
When installed, you will need to configure it with the connection limitations for your web server, which you should have received from your host. The needed parameters are a username, password, and hostname or IP address. Your username identifies your unique hosting account, the password its security measure. The IP address is the location of your hosting space’s FTP server.
Next, open FileZilla’s Site Manager tool by either pressing Ctrl-S, clicking the “Open the Site Manager” icon at the top left, or opening the “File” menu and selecting the “Site Manager…” option. A new window should open. Click the “New Site” button to add your hosting space to the Site Manager. A new entry is created in the site list. Name it recognizably. In the “General” tab, enter the host, username, and password provided by your host. When you’ve finished, click the “Connect” button. Doing so saves your site in the list and logs you into your account.
If you would like to use a different FTP client, CoreFTP, WinSCP, Cyberduck, Fetch, and kasablanca are some others to choose from.
5) A Plan
Decide where you want to host PrestaShop. There are four possible ways you can use to plan your domain name. It can either be at the root of the domain (http://www.forexample.com/), in a folder (http://www.forexample.com/shop/), in a sub-domain (http://shop.forexample.com/), or in a folder of a sub-domain (http://clothes.forexample.com/boutique/).
All that’s left is to install the latest version of Prestashop which you can find at http://www.prestashop.com/en/download.
Congratulations! Once all these steps are completed, you should be able to set up your PrestaShop and begin using your online store. Good luck!